Latinos will determine majority-making Valley House seat. They’re backing the Republican.

It’s a major pickup for Duarte, who faces an uphill battle in voter registration in the 13th District.

Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) clinched an unlikely endorsement in the run up to one of the nation’s most competitive House seats. the Central Valley Leadership Round Table. 

Duarte won the backing of the Central Valley Leadership Round Table, a coalition of Latino voters and leaders on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, the first-ever GOP endorsement for the group.,


The big picture: Initially the Westside Leadership Round Table, the CVLRT expanded in 2018 and is a group of elected officials and community leaders in Fresno, Madera, Merced and Stanislaus Counties. 

  • Many members are former farm laborers or the children of farm workers. 
  • It’s a big endorsement for Duarte to receive over his opponent, former Asm. Adam Gray (D–Merced). 
  • Duarte’s campaign points to the support from Latino community leaders, businesses and organizations through the group as a good sign in his reelection bid to Congressional District 13. 
  • Duarte faces a very similar situation to his neighbor to the south, David Valadao (R–Hanford). 
  • In the 22nd Congressional District, Democrats hold a 16-point edge in voter registration, yet Valadao was re-elected by a three percent margin in 2022. 
  • Duarte faces an uphill battle in the 13th District, with Democrats holding over a 13-point advantage over Republicans. 

What they’re saying: CVLRT President Eliseo Gamino said in a statement that he is pleased with Duarte’s work. 

  • “Among the pressing issues in the San Joaquin Valley includes real immigration reform for families, DACA, quality education in our K-12 public school system; especially math and English Language Arts, affordable housing, and affordable rent to name a few,” Gamino said. 
  • Duarte added, “I’m a fourth-generation Central Valley farmer who believes we need to create more opportunities for hard-working people to achieve the American dream. In Washington, I’m fighting for the farmers, working people, and middle-class families who are struggling from unaffordable everyday prices. I’m thankful to have received an endorsement from the Central Valley Leadership Round Table. It is a testament to our common vision of building a better future for our Valley.” 
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